Sea of Hope

Sea of Hope

As the waves crashed against the shore, the sea reminded me to focus on recovery as I listened to a melodious tune of “just be”.  I breathed in the rhythm of the tide as I was lulled into a slumberous state, embracing the unusual space between me and an incessant drive to accomplish a myriad of things within the time constraint of one indeterminate life span.

A week of revival in an exotic location and absence from the work of writing restored my soul.  Focusing on the movement of my thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves, reignited my desire to bring life to a blank page.

I learned we cannot always dictate the unexpected twists and turns along the path of life but we can learn to appreciate the tempo of life’s waves.  As the rhythm of the tides nourishes life below the surface in its repetitive cycle of cleansing, hope energizes us with a promise of restoration, urging us to never give up no matter how hopeless the situation seems.  

My tale of love restored in the pain of loss follows.

A gift was once given to a young girl who dreamed of a knight to fight her battles. He came to save her from a plight brought upon her by a self-righteous love-sucking empire. With his worldly weapons, he disintegrated the threat against her. She loved him with all her heart. And then…

The day came when she no longer remembered what he had done for her. She complained incessantly and took each day with him for granted. When he left that morning to explore the underworld of the sea, she never imagined that he would not return.

In the search for him, futility took over as powerful waves of wrenching pain squeezed her heart. Her tears turned to torrents as she cried out for him. Her life would never be the same without his love. And she knew in that moment that her gift could be mercilessly taken away.

As the search team reminded her to retain hope, she panicked thinking only the worst. Every man remotely resembling her knight from a distance materialized into someone else as she came closer, launching her further into a sea of devastation.

She beseeched God, feeling responsible for his disappearance as she had neglected her love for him.

Eventually, she was led to the place on the shore where he had last been seen before he entered the water. She looked upon the site wanting to believe the mirage that appeared before her with the little hope she had left.

Magically, in that instant, her gift was returned as he turned to her with a smile and outstretched arms and said, “There you are, I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

Dedicated to My Knight – I will always love you.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Self-Protective Hope

Self-Protective Hope

Self-protection.  Do we allow it to get in the way of progress?  Does fear of harm or ridicule stunt our growth.  Do we view outside forces as something to hide from?  Or do we learn to adapt? 

I watch the water form a river in the leaf of a plant.  My mind wanders to the self-protective ability of a succulent to divert the harmful power of torrential rain from washing it away.

How much of our environment and its harsh elements helped create who we are today?  The adaptation of our natures cannot be ignored as we learn to deflect the ominous, hurtful, degenerative, toxic messages that may have been forced upon us.

When the vicious prey on us, we have our cloaking devices.  We do not have to expose ourselves to harmful situations to become more powerful.  Power resides in the protection of the gift we are given.  There is no need to flaunt or battle.

Deflecting criticism protects our tender roots.  These roots ground us in a hostile yet beautiful terrain.  The vast wilderness becomes manageable as we adapt by using our strengths.  Our beings are created for survival and hope.

The love in our hearts survives in deflection.

©Erika K Rothwell

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Redemption of Hope

Redemption of Hope

The heaviness of my heart lands on my fingertips today.  I begin to move toward clarity yet the message that calls to be written hides behind a veil of obscurity.  

So many times confident words leave my heart driven by the power of a story I tell myself.  At times, this story is crafted as a wish for you as well so that you may not get caught in the sticky web of regret.  Memories of my past indiscretions forgotten by most observers live violently free in a world created by the harshest critic, me.

Yet the redemptive power of the word saves my soul.  Each word painstakingly chosen to craft a story of hope.

Hope is the answer for redemption.  Calling on deliverance, writing can move shattered hearts in the direction of a lifeline.

Your words and mine may intertwine to reach the same objective, to free people to be who they were created to be.  Dwelling on a hurtful past does not bring a good future.  And the work of my spirit today is to share hope.  A hope that carried me from harmed and harmful (to self) to helpful.   The pain of the past does not need to build a wall.

Breaking down the barriers between harm and help redeems us all. 

©Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – In Nature’s Kiss

Hope – In Nature’s Kiss

After a powerful pause, I answered him, “I’m not sure, let me give it some thought.”.  “Novel idea.”, he responded.  And I believe it was.

So many times in life, we are called to give a quick response and we fail to think and feel deeply through the process.  Our swift knee-jerk reactions often lack discernment and an authentic pathway from our intuition.

To engage our hearts in our writing, a deep reflective pause may also be needed. So today, I “gave it some thought”. 

I gazed out at the rain as nature’s portrait beckoned my melancholic spirit.  Imagination cycled at an all-time high, yet connection to the simple became increasingly difficult until in the stillness of a moment I paused to examine the raindrop.

In a single raindrop, a world exists. A reflection of an artist of magnificent proportion, a creation of movement and energy in a perfectly designed, yet simple, jewel falling from the heavens feeding my soul with a lifetime of hope. 

Suddenly with the recognition of nature’s kiss, I awoke from my meditative slumber to discover a shift in focus.  My world came alive knit with stories and words of immense proportion that I knew needed to be shared with tenderness and the art of simplicity.  My purpose was reignited and, with that, my next project was born.

With joyful appreciation, my dream was propelled outside of the hazy gloom of indecision and the supporting self-criticism fed by my inability to give an instant response.

In the inspiration of nature and a reflective pause, a “novel” idea and answer were unveiled.

©Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

An embrace, a symbol of love and support. A sign of acceptance and adoption. Learning to embrace the many facets of my being encourages me to embrace others and each day with enthusiasm and hope.

As clothes hang listlessly in a closet waiting to be worn as self-expression, words sit on a page craving a connection by the hearts that read them.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? A reflection of your heart and a journey well-lived? Or do you see only an outward appearance, a physical being disappointed in what is and what could be? Finding ourselves in a one size fits all universe sends a message that something is wrong with us because we don’t fit a perceived mold. Squeezing ourselves into a template that was created for everyone else only bruises our enthusiasm and desire to be who we truly are.

Walking a path of disillusion for many years of my life, as the ingredients of dissatisfaction poured into an insatiate lifestyle, I finally found hope in self-acceptance as I focused on sharing a unique contribution to this life and world. And along the way, I learned something of value that I ask you to consider with me now.

Why do we spend so much time beating ourselves up and working against ourselves by focusing on our weaknesses? If only we knew early on that those weaknesses were strengths when viewed from another angle.

Why hold on to an image of what could have been, what isn’t, or what should be? We are given time to grow and flourish. Regret only devours that time and skews the view of our potential.

Self-acceptance doesn’t come easy. Do you, like me, often overlook compliments, rather than graciously accept the embrace? Recognition of our worth comes from other’s caresses of support combined with accepting ourselves.

Embrace the opportunity to share your unique contribution. Look at your reflection, share your colors, embrace who you are.

Invite the harsh critic that lives inside you to leave, and imagine a room filled with loving, supportive and involved hearts. Writing brings these people into your room. They nod appreciatively, and say, “Yes. I like that”. And if not, let them pass by unnoticed.

Value self-expression.

Accept that creations brought forth from deep inside are not always consistent. Days bring melancholy, elation, sadness, joy, and vulnerability. Writing follows whims and moods. There are days when my heart speaks effortlessly. Other days the seriousness of writing loses its connections. Today I free write about the simple act of embracing. Embracing life, love, others and myself.

How encouraging if we continue to embrace ourselves and others through it all? Love is not conditional and our embraces should not be either.

©Erika K Rothwell

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